Understanding caregiver burnout

Consider this caregiver task inventory—how often do you say “yes” to taking on each one of the following responsibilities for the person in your care?

  • I coordinate medical appointments.
  • I help with tasks of daily living, like cooking, cleaning and shopping.
  • I provide emotional support.
  • I monitor and supervise.
  • I provide nursing care or other healthcare support.
  • I manage their finances.
  • I am planning their future.
  • I manage their legal affairs.
  • I manage and oversee their medication and/or treatments.
  • I balance their care while supporting my own/our family.
  • I care for them and work at a paid job.
  • I transport them to where they need to go.
  • I advocate on their behalf.

The more you find yourself saying “yes” to these care responsibilities, the more you need to be aware that caregiving might also be affecting your overall health and wellness. It’s important to accept that you can only do so much. As the intensity of your care increases, so do the risks to your health and your ability to be a good care companion.

The Government of Canada has published important information about the impact of caregiving - have a look at their study here.

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